Estate Planning

You don’t have to be wealthy to consider estate planning. Even sentimental items, small sums of money and belongings will need to be distributed following your death. Planning for what will happen to your estate and the impact on your family, is a responsible thing to do. Circumstances can change very quickly and knowing your family will be looked after, will provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

When you add up the total value of your assets, it can be surprising. The value of your home, life insurance plans, death in service benefits, savings, pensions and personal belongings can often amount to more than the inheritance threshold. Exceeding the inheritance threshold, will leave your beneficiaries liable for tax.

Estate planning usually involves the preparation of a will and considering what you have in place, such as trusts, insurance policies and investments.

Downton & Ali Associates are experienced in estate planning. We can help you provide a solid financial future for your family after your death. We will look at how you can reduce inheritance tax liability, so that your estate can be distributed in accordance with your wishes.

For more information please read our Guide to Leaving a Legacy.

Inheritance tax is tax applied to your estate when you die. Your estate consists of your property, money and possessions.

If you do not plan for inheritance tax liabilities, your beneficiaries could receive less than you hoped for.

A life insurance policy can be an essential part of your estate planning. If set up in the correct way, the right plan could substantially reduce any inheritance tax liability for your beneficiaries.

A Trust is a method of placing assets in trust. It can result in avoiding unnecessary inheritance tax and ensuring beneficiaries receive the full funds and/or assets.

There are various types of trusts to suit different circumstances. Trusts can be setup to control or protect your assets for example, or if a person is too young to handle their affairs, or even to pass on assets while you’re still alive.

Please note: trust advice is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


If you die without creating a will, your death will be classed as ‘intestate’ and the government will appoint an ‘administrator’ to oversee and manage your estate. The administrator’s duties can include, distributing your assets and naming guardians for your children. Be aware that the administrator’s decisions are guided by legislation and not your wishes.

Writing a Will allows you to control how your assets are to be dealt with after your death. In writing your will, the purpose is to:

  • Identify the beneficiaries to inherit your estate.
  • Determine how your personal valuables should be distributed.
  • Name guardians for your children if they are minors when you die.
  • Setup a trust if any minors will be inheriting your assets.
  • Name executors for your estate. – the executor will manage and distribute your estate according to your instructions.

Will writing is not part of the Openwork offering and is offered in our own right. Openwork Limited accept no responsibility for this aspect of our business. Will writing is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

If you have any questions, or if there’s anything you’d like explained, please speak to one of our team on 020 3021 0075 or email us at info@downtonandali.co.uk